Picture this: A restroom user finishes washing his hands. Instead of taking one or two towels to dry, he simply grabs a handful. What he doesn’t use, he throws in the trash.

To a building service contractor, this person isn’t throwing away towels — he’s throwing away money. That’s because more than 70 percent of BSCs purchase towel and tissue products for their customers.

“One towel here and another there multiplied by how many users, how many days, and how many buildings can become an impactful expense,” says Sharon L. Cowan, president and CEO of Cleaning Business Consulting Group, Vero Beach, Florida.

Although BSCs are spending their own money on the paper products in a building, they often feel helpless when it comes to limiting how much product is used. However, experts say there are ways contractors can reduce waste and spending

“Controlling consumable use is paramount to maintaining a healthy margin, particularity as margins in general have been shrinking,” says Cowan.

Buy Better Towels

It may sound counterintuitive, but paying more up front for paper products can actually create savings over time.

“The quality of the paper influences how many towels are taken,” says BJ Mandelstam, founder and president of Cleaning Matters, a Denver-based custodial consulting practice. “Cheap is not always best. Better-quality towels will reduce the total quantity used.”

Swapping out thin towels for more absorbent ones is unlikely to have an immediate effect, warns Mandelstam. When users are accustomed to grabbing three sheets, it takes time to rewire their muscle memory. But eventually they will reduce their usage from three sheets to one.

“Let tenants know that the quality has improved and they will start taking less,” says Mandelstam. “It won’t be overnight, but over time you will see savings.”

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Reduce Waste With Roll Towel Dispensers